Examining flow-flame interaction and the characteristic stretch rate in vortex-driven combustion dynamics using PIV and numerical simulation


Hong, Seunghyuck
Speth, Raymond L.
Shanbhogue, Santosh J.
Ghoniem, Ahmed F.

KAUST Grant Number


In this paper, we experimentally investigate the combustion dynamics in lean premixed flames in a laboratory scale backward-facing step combustor in which flame-vortex driven dynamics are observed. A series of tests was conducted using propane/hydrogen/air mixtures for various mixture compositions at the inlet temperature ranging from 300K to 500K and at atmospheric pressure. Pressure measurements and high speed particle image velocimetry (PIV) are used to generate pressure response curves and phase-averaged vorticity and streamlines as well as the instantaneous flame front, respectively, which describe unsteady flame and flow dynamics in each operating regime. This work was motivated in part by our earlier study where we showed that the strained flame consumption speed Sc can be used to collapse the pressure response curves over a wide range of operating conditions. In previous studies, the stretch rate at which Sc was computed was determined by trial and error. In this study, flame stretch is estimated using the instantaneous flame front and velocity field from the PIV measurement. Independently, we also use computed strained flame speed and the experimental data to determine the characteristic values of stretch rate near the mode transition points at which the flame configuration changes. We show that a common value of the characteristic stretch rate exists across all the flame configurations. The consumption speed computed at the characteristic stretch rate captures the impact of different operating parameters on the combustor dynamics. These results suggest that the unsteady interactions between the turbulent flow and the flame dynamics can be encapsulated in the characteristic stretch rate, which governs the critical flame speed at the mode transitions and thereby plays an important role in determining the stability characteristics of the combustor. © 2013 The Combustion Institute.

Hong S, Speth RL, Shanbhogue SJ, Ghoniem AF (2013) Examining flow-flame interaction and the characteristic stretch rate in vortex-driven combustion dynamics using PIV and numerical simulation. Combustion and Flame 160: 1381–1397. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.combustflame.2013.02.016.

The authors would like to acknowledge the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology for their support of this research. This work was funded by the KAUST Grant, Number KUS-110-010-01.

Elsevier BV

Combustion and Flame


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